Rating: PG, angst
Disclaimer: Not mine (except the mistakes), no harm meant.
Summary: Rodney's the one who sleeps through the night, but not tonight...
Rodney's the one who sleeps through the night, John the one to lie awake, content to watch Rodney snore in the small hours. When John rises to go on his morning runs, Rodney rarely stirs at the kiss placed on his forehead or the hand that runs through his hair.
Rodney wakes later, pulled across the room by the seductive aroma of the coffee that John holds teasingly out of reach. Rodney scowls, and grabs, and John baits him.
Rodney rarely wakes before John, but there have been mornings when he's woken to the shrill of his alarm, in an empty bed, and John won't meet his eyes all morning. (Rodney's timed how long it takes for John to look at him directly - four hours, twenty three minutes. Less if they're being shot at, not that it's much consolation.) Rodney bites his tongue and files it as a different kind of 'don't ask, don't tell', and hates it just as fiercely.
It isn't a sound that wakes him. Instead it's John's hand clutching insistently at his chest, balling up his t-shirt above his heart. Tangled and warm, he almost smiles, but says, "It's too early." Glances at the clock. "Far, far too early, and I have meetings with, oh God, such idiots all morning. Biochemists."
John doesn't move, doesn't reply, and Rodney reaches up to bat John's hand away. John's fist tightens, and Rodney can feel the tension in his arm.
A tremor runs through him. Alarmed, Rodney twists to look at John.
"Hey," he whispers.
John isn't awake. When Rodney moves, John gives a shuddering gasp and pulls him back.
Rodney doesn't need to have seen it before to know that this is why he sometimes wakes up alone. John's entire body is tense, curling awkwardly around Rodney and strong even in sleep, pulling Rodney down beneath him. Rodney places a hand uselessly on John's neck, trying to ease the tension, and is rewarded with another choking breath.
Rodney waits, mind racing. He hushes and whispers in John's ear, uncertain platitudes and plainly false comforts, until John finally shifts in his arms.
Awake, John pulls away, and it's Rodney's turn to grasp at John's t-shirt. Slipping from the bed, John won't meet his eyes.
"Sorry," mutters John to the floor. The floor remains indifferent.
"Right, because that expensive military training should give you complete control of your comatose, subconscious brain."
John gives a hiss of frustration at that, but he doesn't move, and Rodney tightens his grasp on the hem of John's t-shirt.
"Look at me."
He pulls at the worn cotton, and John steps back.
"You keep doing that, I'm going to fall off the bed." John bats Rodney's arm away, and Rodney grabs his wrist to keep from falling. "Look at me."
Rodney sits back onto his heels, and holds onto John's wrist. "What was it?"
"No, I don't, and I don't want to. But I will."
In the darkness, he can see little more than John's profile, but it's enough to see when John turns his head.
A/N: It's a lousy title, I know, but I can't keep calling things 'Untitled'. Also, I need more icons. Specifically, McShep angst icons.